World Cup Qualifier: Colombia v. Argentina

Colombians react after a close call in the match
Colombians react after a close call in the match

Saturday’s main event for me and the majority of the Colombian and Argentine population was the World Cup qualifier match between the two countries.

Colombia was a big time underdog.

I took a cab to Parque Lleras, where I found the bars and restaurants screening the match had decorated with red, yellow and blue balloons and Colombian flags.

I got to Barcelona, a bar where I was meeting up with Sirley and others, first, which was good because I staked out a table in the middle.

Sirley then arrived with a German couchsurfer, followed by her friend Paola and Cesar, David and his friend, and several others.

All the seats and tables were taken by the kickoff, and I was quite content to be amidst the locals for such a big match.

Arepa con Queso
Arepa con Queso

Colombian was off to an aggressive start, and they had all the opportunities in the all-important first ten minutes of the match, but they couldn’t convert.

Argentina didn’t play well in the first half, and I think Colombia must’ve been relieved to enter the locker room at an 0-0 tie.

Unfortunately, Argentina emerged in the second half with a lot more energy, and quickly scored a goal which turned out to be the only one of the match.

I’m not sure why Sirley recommended Barcelona of all the bars, but it might’ve been the 3 for 1 cocktails.  I enjoyed a few delicious caipirinhas.

After the match, we stuck around awhile longer, and eventually as the others disbanded, Sirley, Paola, Cesar and I went for a walk to get some arepas con queso.

These tasty fast food items are akin to hot dogs in the USA, and I like them much more because the hot dogs here in Colombia are loaded with too many toppings.

The greasy arepas con queso are only topped with a drizzling of sweetened milk.  Sooooo good.  I will miss them dearly.

We returned to Parque Lleras and sat on some of the steps for awhile.  I was trying to figure out if I was going to meet up with Martin, as it was his birthday the following day.

I thought about it over a beer I bought from a small shop nearby.  At about $0.60 it’s no wonder the police try to keep people from drinking in the park.

Actually, this night was the first time I saw the sign stating alcohol and drugs were not allowed.

Sirley rationalized that it was to keep the money going to the bars and restaurants in the form of high drink prices.  Yet looking around, there were people with beer and boxes of Aguardiente everywhere!

Saturday night in Parque Lleras
Saturday night in Parque Lleras

In the end, I didn’t connect with Martin.  Sirley went home and I offered to introduce Paola, her friend Vanessa, and Cesar to one of my favorite spots, Le Pub de Octavia.

We walked over and grabbed seats at the bar as it wasn’t too crowded yet.  Another caipirinha, though this time it was a special one with a fruit I hadn’t heard of before squished in the bottom.

It was certainly different though I think I’ll stick with the original version going forward.  I managed to dance a little with Paola, but not enough to get into a rhythm with all the turns I now know.

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